Bless Your Heart: A Meditation, A Taxonomy, A Eulogy

There is a phrase that a woman can deploy like a verbal stiletto. It's increasingly dangerous to use, because many people are catching on to the phrase's true meaning. You've got a decent shot at sneaking it by folks who aren't from the South, but more and more, you try unloading it on anyone at all in America and you… » 3/06/15 3:30pm 3/06/15 3:30pm

The Problem With Calling Women 'Females'

For as long as I can remember, I've been immediately skeptical of men who use the word "female" to describe women. Before I was able to put my finger on what exactly bothered me about their use of the word, I simply relied on historical record: The men I liked and respected weren't running around talking about females… » 2/05/15 2:40pm 2/05/15 2:40pm

A Love Letter to My Favorite Word: DUDE

Dude. DUDE. Dude, I love the word "dude" so much. It's so versatile. It's so casual yet punchy. It can convey, "I really mean business here!" and "I am a fun type of person who doesn't take life too seriously" in the same syllable. WHILE SKATEBOARDING. It is far superior to "guy," which implies a kind of distance, an… » 10/25/13 4:45pm 10/25/13 4:45pm

Man and His Dog Find Ambergris, Which We Must All Remember Is Not the Same as Whale Turds

Ambergris, that versatile sperm whale excretion that Herman Melville wrote so prodigiously about when the ocean was just a Dave & Buster's for murdering sperm whales, can be a pretty valuable beachcombing find, way more valuable than a mostly intact conch shell, horseshoe crab, or buffalo nickel. Just ask unemployed… » 2/02/13 1:30pm 2/02/13 1:30pm

Can We Reclaim and Redefine 'Pussy'? Sure, Why Not.

Ever since the sentencing of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, the word "pussy" has been bandied about by everyone and their grandmothers, but does its sudden ubiquitousness mean that women are ready to reclaim the word as our own? The term "pussy" is problematic. It's porny, men use it to insult one another and… » 8/29/12 3:20pm 8/29/12 3:20pm

Uuuuuugh, Stop Adding Garbage Words to the Dictionary

You know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I don't think dictionaries should keep inducting new words.* I think we have enough already. ABOLISH IT. Like, I know we all had a hearty wocka-wocka when Merriam-Webster added "aha moment" and "man cave" earlier this month, but do we really need that… » 8/24/12 3:50pm 8/24/12 3:50pm

Say Goodbye To 'Baby Bump' And 'Man Cave'

Another year is drawing to a close, and that means it's time for Lake Superior State University's annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. After tens of thousands of nominations were submitted, LSSU narrowed it down to the twelve words and phrases which most… » 12/30/11 3:00pm 12/30/11 3:00pm

Sexting, Jeggings, And The Other Fake Words That Are Now Real

Now look what we've gone and done. This is why we can't have nice things: The Oxford Dictionary has just inducted a slew of new words into their holy pages, and out of the 400 hundred new additions, a handful of them were in sound smack-my-head territory. » 8/18/11 3:20pm 8/18/11 3:20pm

, a super-comfortable jean and legging hybrid, popularized by…